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Chicago Grunge-Pop: Lever's Young & Poor

Lever is a grunge-pop band hailing from the bustling city of Chicago, Illinois. Consisting of members Jon Babin (Lead Vocals/Guitar), Jeff Aquino (Guitar/Vocals), Brandon Erker (Bass), and Michael Reinhold (Drums), this group of music-lovers will play anywhere and everywhere; they just love to rock. With influences ranging from The Vines to The Beatles to Oasis, Jimi Hendrix, and Led Zeppelin, Lever creates a unique sound that is accessible to fans of grunge, rock, pop, and punk. Voted "Best Rock Entertainer" at the 37th Annual Chicago Music Awards, this is a band to look out for.

Photo: Jeffrey Doles -

One of Lever's most recent releases, "Young & Poor," checks the boxes "catchy" and "fun." A track off of their full-length album Douse, "Young & Poor" places an upbeat tempo alongside seemingly contrasting lyrics. The choruses are easily singable (in a good way), and as YouTube user Nikhil Suresh so eloquently puts it: "I envision this song being played live in front of 100,000 thousand people at a big time outdoor festival." It certainly has that type of vibe to it, and I get the feeling that Lever would do well with the UK crowds.

Although "Young & Poor's" lyrics have a somewhat dark thematic element to them, they still spark inspiration in listeners, urging us to make the most of every day. "Long before time took over our minds, we all sang just a little more [...] Make it last, can't live in the past."

I'm a real fan of Babin's lead vocals. He has the perfect amount of grunge and rasp to his tone and maintains great clarity and intonation throughout. He also happens to have that unique "front-person" look that all the ladies love. Is it the hair? Possibly.

I love the fullness of the mix in this particular track, as well. It does not sound over-produced, which is the preference of many grunge/punk listeners. I appreciate the way in which acoustic guitar is integrated throughout the song, and my favorite part of the track (as a whole) is most definitely the four-tone scale, eighth-note walk-downs at the ends of phrases. I am not entirely sure what the instrumentation looks like during these riffs, but I dig it. The instrumental ending is perfect, too.

All in all, Lever seems like the type of band that any local music enthusiast would love to meet and jam alongside. Their live sets are entertaining and energizing, and their recorded tracks envelop this same type of energy. Be sure to check 'em out!

Follow Lever:


Facebook: @LeverBand




Twitter: @LeverBand

Cover Photo by Jeff Doles



Alisha Peru